The Foundational hand is a formal type of writing which is easy to read and has long been used as the basic form underlying typefaces that are seen in books and newspapers.
The Italic hand was developed in Italy to meet the demand for a quickly written, elegant letter. Modern Italic type is similar to italic writing. The letters are squeezed narrow and the writing 'flows'.
Contemporary Italic goes against the grain for the usual precisely written calligraphic letter form. It is more freehand and certainly has a quirky edge to it. A great hand for something different.
Uncials were first used around the 3rd century and was influenced by both Greek and Roman lettering. The alphabet largely consists of capital letters. This hand was used in early copies of the Bible
Gothic or Blackletter (so called as the heavy black letters are so closely spaced that the pages of writing look black!) was used as the book hand of the 12th to the 15th centuries. The first printed book in Germany in 1450 was printed in this style.
Fraktur is also a Gothic hand and is from the German printing type from the 15th century. A beautiful hand - one of my favourites!
Copperplate is developed from the italic hand and many varieties of the style were in use from the 16th to the 18th century. This hand is written with a pointed pen and the 'thick' of each letter is made using pressure on the pen.